The Oldest Church In Massachusetts Dates Back To The 1600s And You Need To See It
Being one of the oldest states in the nation has its perks. One is that Massachusetts is absolutely bristling with gorgeous churches and places of worship. However, not every church can lay claim to being almost 350 years old. Here’s all you need to know about Old Ship Church in Hingham.
Old Ship Church was built in 1681. Not only does that make it the oldest church in Massachusetts, it’s actually the oldest church building in continuous religious use in the United States. In fact, the church’s congregation actually predates the building by almost 50 years. It’s also the only surviving example of the 17th-century English Gothic style of architecture in North America.
When you step inside, you can see why this place has endured since before first days of our nation. The ceiling is made of thick oak beams and the entire building has a stately, solid atmosphere. Some of the church’s furnishings that are still in use date back to the 1600s. For example, the church’s christening bowl was made in the 1500s and was probably brought over from England by some of the earliest colonists in Massachusetts.
One of the most unique and prized elements of the architecture of Old Ship Church is its Hammerbeam roof. This open timber style of construction was probably built by ship carpenters. If you’ve ever been to London, you might recognize the style – it’s the same used in Westminster Hall.
The church is surrounded by Hingham Cemetery, which is sometimes called First Settlers cemetery because many of the area’s earlier families are buried there. If your last name is Cushing, Hersey, Otis, Chaffee, Lane, Andrews, Hobart, Loring, Bates, Leavitt, Thaxter, Tower, Beal, Lincoln, or Fearing, you may have relatives in this burial ground.
You can find Old Ship Church at 107 Main St., Hingham, Mass. For more of the most beautiful churches in the state, click
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article.